A nationwide population-based retrospective cohort study: increased risk of acute coronary syndrome in patients with ankylosing spondylitis

Scand J Rheumatol. 2014;43(2):132-6. doi: 10.3109/03009742.2013.822097. Epub 2013 Oct 18.


Objectives: To compare the risk of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) between patients with and without ankylosing spondylitis (AS).

Method: This retrospective cohort study identified all patients with AS aged ≥ 18 years newly diagnosed from 2000 to 2009, registered in the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) in Taiwan. The non-AS cohort consisted of fourfold randomly selected control patients free of AS, frequency matched by age, sex, and diagnosis year. The incidence of ACS was determined for both AS and non-AS cohorts.

Results: We selected 6262 patients with AS and 25 048 patients without AS. The patients with AS were more prevalent than those without, with co-morbidities of hypertension, diabetes mellitus (DM), hyperlipidaemia, stroke, and peripheral vascular diseases. The overall incidence rate of ACS was higher in the AS cohort than in the non-AS cohort (4.4 vs. 2.9 per 1000 person-years), with an adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) of 1.36 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.16-1.59]. AS patients with co-morbidities of hypertension, DM, and cancer had an aHR of 7.74 for ACS, compared to those without these co-morbidities.

Conclusions: AS patients are at higher risk of ACS compared with non-AS subjects. Management of CV risk factors should be taken into account for the treatment of patients with AS, especially for patients with co-morbidities of hypertension, DM, and cancer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / complications*
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / epidemiology*
  • Taiwan / epidemiology
  • Young Adult